Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Sorry the title for this one may sound a bit confusing, but today I want to talk about associative memory. I am not sure if that’s a real term, but that’s the word I use for it. It’s the kind of memories that pop up in your mind when you think of an object and others that you associative with it come back up, sometimes it’s more a feeling, sometimes an imagine or other times the knowledge of something that makes you think of that obbjects. It’s when you hear a song and remember other instances where you heard it or start smiling or crying because of the feeling associated with it. With books it are the things you remember or associate with a book that have nothing to do with the story itself, but with when, where and how you read it. Some books I read have very strong associative memories and feelings. Some books have very strong memories associated with them, others only some vague ones. Sometimes it’s hard to tell why one book has stronger memories associated with it than others. Overal I have very strong associative memory, a sentence can make me think of a song, a song can remember me of emotions, a certain dish can remind me of a book or life event and so on. These memories often pop up pretty suddenly or I can focus myself to remember these things.
Examples of associative memories
I just have to take a look at my bookshelves to come up with a few example to illustrate what I mean with associative memories when it comes to books. I remember I read Summer Haikus shortly after my pet rats died and how reading a good book was able to take my mind of things a little. I remember reading Storm Fall while they were renovating a house in the same appartment complex and how I spent longer than normal after breakfast reading the book as I was so tired (because I woke up from the sound) and I just wanted to read. I remember how I read Darkfever when I got the train to uni and how I arrived early that day. I remember how Pita was sick when I read The Legacy Human. I remember how when I read the Duality Bridge we couldn’t sleep and I read part of it in the middle of the night. I remember how I read Camp Boyfriend while reading on the couch in broad daylight and that I took a picture of my pets rats on the book. I remember I read Cursed while on the train to visit my mom and wrote my review for it while I was there on her laptop. I remember reading Cold Burn of magic and not getting much reading done one day as my rats wouldn’t sit still and I spent time petting them instead. I remember starting The Selection when I brought one of my rats to the vet early in the morning for surgery. I remember how I read the Elemental Assassin series when on vacation to germany years ago and how I really loved reading those books. I remember how I read Pride at the start of a school vacation and stayed up late reading and eventually didn’t finish the last chapter and read that first thing in the morning. I remember reading Pushing the Limits one hot summer day in the middle of summer vacation and reading most of the book in one day and how it made me fall in love with contemporary romances. I remember reading the True Blood first 3 books omnibus during a break in college and someone asking me about the book.
What do I remember when I think of a book?
- When. For most books I remember globally when I read it, when in times of which time of the year, which year, when on the day or when in relation to other events. Sometimes it’s very vaguely like in which year or in which season, or a globally like when I was still in uni or high school. But sometimes very specific, like which month it was or where I was or what I was doing at that time or how I read a certain book in a certain season while doing a specific thing. Most books I have at least a global feeling of when I read it, like I read this years ago or in terms of which area of my life it was like, high school, uni or after uni/ working. There are only a few books where the memories are really specific, but it still happens often enough.
- How. Usually I remember in which format I read a book, which sure comes in handy sometimes as usually I remember in which format I have a book. And sometimes how I was feeling at the time I read the book or how I was doing at that point or what was around me.
- Where. As I read a book on multiple days this often means more globally, like if I read it in the train, during breakfast at the table, in bed or on the couch. Those are my most common reading spots.
- Relation to specific events in my life. I remember most of the books I read around specific big events in my life. During vacation, when making a special trip, when we lost the rats etc. I especially remember books I read during big events,but also soemtiems the less significant events that somehow I still remember clearly or can get triggered when thinking of a certain book.
- Visuals. Sometimes it’s more a snapshot or image that the memory takes place an imagine of how I spent my time reading that with the feel and look of the place and time. It can be an imagine I remember.
For most books it’s more general or I can’t tell you much details except for I read it long ago or I read it summer. But for some books I have very strong and intense memories where thinking of that book automatically brings that memory or snapshot into my mind. So often when talking about books I read there are a lot more things I remember than just the story or the book itself. I remember things surrounding that book and when, how and where I read it.